Tuesday, July 11, 2006

90 years of Hard Labour


Not PC and DPF have said much which I would want to say.
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However, I have two simple things to say about the Labour Party.
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On the one hand, if it never happened we would be better off. NZ's Parliament would have had liberals vs. conservatives, and the "tell you off" culture of modern statism might well have been less. Labour is not liberal. Question the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in legislation and you're branded "racist" to shut down debate, instantly. Question the welfare state and you are branded as "hating the poor". Labour today is not interested in this - it is dominated by three lobbies all on the left: unions, gay/lesbian and Maori. Confront any of those at your peril. Stan Rodger, Richard Prebble and Dr Michael Bassett know this only too well.
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On the other hand, it has more of a sense about what it believes in than National. Labour can write a Manifesto about what it wants, and what it will and wont do. Some of it will be socially liberal, tiny bits economically liberal (e.g. trade), and some of it statist and interventionist, and proudly so. National still struggles, and when Don Brash tried last time, he was being battled by those who want to betray its principles.

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